FAQs, Helps, and Extras

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Language Arts Curriculum

FAQs

How do your levels compare to public school grade levels?

Our grade comparison chart is as follows:
Level K: Advanced Kindergarten/Regular 1st Grade
Level 1: Advanced 1st Grade/Regular 2nd Grade
Level 2: Advanced 2nd Grade/Regular 3rd Grade
Level 3: 3rd Grade/4th Grade
Level 4: 4th Grade/5th Grade
Level 5: 5th Grade/6th Grade
Level 6: 7th Grade/8th Grade
Level 7: Advanced 8th Grade/9th Grade

Why do the levels not match public school grade levels?

The homeschool experience usually allows children to progress at a faster rate. The Good and the Beautiful curriculum is carefully designed to pack a lot of learning into a short period of time while keeping difficult subjects understandable. Thus, our curriculum tends to progress at a faster rate than public school curriculum. Children going from public school to The Good and the Beautiful tend to start at a lower level than they would expect, but they also tend to progress very quickly.

Does my child need to take the assessment?

The assessment is highly recommended in order to determine the appropriate level for your child. You may also download Levels 1-5 for free, and the other levels have samples which include all the benchmarks and many sample pages. You can look through these samples and use your own judgment to decide the course level with which to start your child, but the assessment is very helpful in determining the appropriate place to start.

My child placed much lower than his or her corresponding grade level. What should I do?

This is extremely common for children just starting The Good and the Beautiful curriculum. Our curriculum fills gaps and holes that either your child didn’t retain or were not taught in their prior curriculum. Do not worry about starting an older child in a lower level. He or she will likely go through the courses quickly and catch up to his or her corresponding grade level without missing any important foundational principles. Also, when the child reaches high school age, he or she can jump right to the high school course, which reviews all grammar principles, regardless of what levels he or she has completed.

My child is an advanced reader but behind in grammar and/or writing. What should I do?

Levels 1, 2, and 3 review all the grammar and spelling principles taught in the previous courses. Thus, advanced readers can usually start one or two levels higher than they place if they only place in a lower level because of grammar and spelling. Levels 4 and above are mainly self-directed. If the child does not have a good foundation in spelling and grammar, consider starting with Level 3. Advanced readers will naturally go through the courses quickly. Also, your child can continue to improve reading skills by reading higher-level books on our book list.

What if my child took the assessment after finishing the course and he or she didn't pass to move on to the next level?

This is not common. However, if this is the case after you followed instructions, completed the entire course book, and feel that the child made progress , move to the course for the next level. If you feel that the child did not make good progress, or if the child does not pass the assessment after finishing the NEXT course (two course books in a row), it is suggested you have the child tested for a reading or learning disability.

Note: Usually you do not need to have your child take the assessment after finishing each course. Simply move to the next course level.

My young child placed in a high level. Is he/she really ready for it?

You will have to use your best judgment, especially taking into consideration the child’s handwriting and writing abilities. The biggest struggle for younger children in higher levels is usually the writing assignments. In addition to this, our assessments are limited and cannot test all grammar principles; consequently, there may be gaps in learning if younger children start at a high level. It is recommended that you do not start any child more than one level above his or her corresponding grade level (allowing the child to move through the levels as quickly as he or she is able).

Will starting my advanced reader on a lower level slow down his or her reading progress?

Even advanced readers usually benefit by reviewing and cementing foundational phonic principles, which will help them know how to sound out challenging words when they encounter them. Advanced readers usually take less time to go through the courses and quickly reach higher levels. In the meantime, you can help your child continue to gain reading progress by completing the following:
1. Supplement with books from The Good and the Beautiful Book List that are on the child’s reading level. The book list has a separate assessment to determine his or her reading level.
2. Read aloud with your child books that are 2–3 levels higher than the child’s personal reading level, switching off every paragraph or page. When reading on their own, children often skip through challenging words. Reading out loud with the parent or teacher encourages the child to sound out
challenging words.
3. Have the child listen to audio books (from The Good and the Beautiful Book List ) that are 2–3 levels higher than his or her reading level.

Will my child ever be able to catch up?

Start your child on the level for which he or she tested and be consistent each day with doing the recommended time for the course (see the “About this Course” section at the beginning of each course book). Then, do not stress! If a child does not have reading disabilities, he or she can start with the first high school course as soon as they reach fourteen years old. It is not necessary to complete Level 7 beforehand. For example, if a child completed Level 5 and just turned 14, he or she can jump to the High School 1 course. This is because our standard high school courses review the principles and rules learned in the lower levels.

Why are some of the lessons so long?

We recommend that students work for a certain amount of time each day, instead of trying to complete a set number of lessons. Additionally, some lessons contain parts that are meant to be completed on separate days, so it is likely that your child will be working on more than one lesson each day. For example, you may start by reviewing a spelling rule and dictating one set of words to your child, and then move to the next lesson and complete a geography assignment. The following day you would return to the same spelling lesson and dictate another set of words before proceeding to the next lesson you are working on.

My child finished early. Do I wait until next year to start the next level?

No, you can continue straight into the next level when your child finishes.

How do I report a typo/error?

Please email our customer support team ( support@thegoodandthebeautiful.com ) if you find a typo in
the curriculum. If you are using an edition that is older than two years, the typo has most likely been fixed and
will not need to be reported .

My child completed Upper Elementary A; which level is he/she ready for now?

Upper Elementary A is an earlier version of our curriculum. If your child completed that level, he or she is now ready for Level 6.

Does The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts courses follow Common Core standards? How does it compare to public school?

The Language Arts courses do not follow Common Core standards. Each course strives to teach everything moral and sound that is being taught in public schools while going above and beyond many public school standards but not necessarily in the same order.

What educational philosophies does the Language Arts curriculum follow?

The Language Arts courses are not based on one specific educational philosophy or method. Rather, the creators of this curriculum intensely studied many different philosophies over a period of years and compiled what they felt were the best elements from several different philosophies, pulling mainly from Charlotte Mason.

Does the curriculum include doctrines specific to any certain Christian denomination?

No. The goal of The Good and the Beautiful curriculum is not to teach doctrines specific to a particular Christian sect, but to teach general principles of moral character such as honesty and kindness. The King James Version of the Bible is used when quoting Bible verses.

Pre-K

The course book isn't very large; is it supposed to last an entire school year?

The length of time it will take a child to go through the course book will vary with each child. For some children it will take an entire year or more, and for others the course book will be finished in a few months. Whenever you finish, move on to the Level K Primer course.

What age should I start my child?

Most children start the course at the age of 3 or 4. If your child can count to five and recognize pictures of and say the words for apple, monkey, alligator, garbage can, elephant, and dinosaur, he or she is ready for the course. However, we strongly recommend not moving the child through the course too quickly. Some children, especially younger children, will need to move slower than others.

Level K Primer

Do I need to have my child complete the Level K Primer before Level K?

Not necessarily. If a child has completely mastered all the letters and their sounds (including short and long vowel sounds), knows the vowels, can sing the alphabet, and can sound out short, simple two and three letter words, the child is ready to begin the Level K course. Children who take the Level K Primer course will be better prepared for the speed of the Level K course.

How do I use/access the Level K Primer songs?

A download link was sent to the email address you used at checkout. The songs will download to your computer in an mp3 format. The course book will not direct you when to play the songs; rather, just play them whenever you would like to help solidify the concepts taught in the course.

Do I need to purchase the Level K Primer Supplement?

Not necessarily. The Level K Primer Supplement is for those children who want/need a little more practice on the concepts taught in the Level K Primer before moving on to the Level K course.

Kindergarten

What is the recommended letter tiles app? How do I find it? Can I use a different one?

The recommended app is called “Sound Literacy” and is available for iPad only. You can use any letter tiles app that allows the child to manipulate individual letters to create words.

My child is not understanding the spelling rules. Can I skip them?

Jenny Phillips and her team have done extensive research on spelling rules and reading for elementary-age children. They have found that the study of spelling rules can be very effective for certain children, but only when the spelling rules are memorized well. For children or families that do not wish to spend the time to memorize the rules so they can be instantly recalled, or for children who do not benefit from these rules, she recommends spending extra time reading or practicing dictation, which can also be effective in assisting children with spelling. Knowing that the rules exist and understanding them at a basic level is still helpful, so the spelling-rule assignments are still recommended.

Does my child need to master the subject before moving on to the next level?

All of our levels have a lot of review. We do not expect children to retain everything learned the first time concepts are introduced. Therefore, we build review into our courses in a spiral method. All concepts taught will be covered again, usually several times.

Level 1

What do I do if my child finishes all the spelling words and sight words?

That’s great! Have your child spend extra time reading.

What is dictation? How is it done?

To dictate a sentence or a word means you say the sentence or word out loud and the child writes it down. After each word or sentence, give any correction needed. Have the child write the sentence or word correctly if it was incorrect the first time.

Is the reader required to complete the course?

In Levels 3 and under, the reader is full of beautiful stories to help your child practice reading, but it is optional. If your child has a higher reading level, you can supplement with good books on your child’s reading level. (Please note that readers in Levels 5, 6 and 7 are integrated with the course, and Level 4 includes reading assignments directly in the course book.)

Level 2

When do we read the books in the book pack?

The lessons will tell you when to read the books in the book pack. Lumber Camp Library and Prairie School are read in Lesson 45, The Beatinest Boy is read in Lesson 98, and Sarah, Plain and Tall is read in Lesson 118. A historical-fiction book of your choice by Robert Clyde Bulla is also needed for Lesson 84.

Is the reader required to complete the course?

No, the reader is full of beautiful stories to help your child practice reading, but it is optional. If your
child has a higher reading level, you can supplement with good books on your child’s reading level.

Level 3

Are the spelling and grammar rules reviewed in the next levels, or does my child need to master them now?

Spelling and grammar rules are reviewed in our upper-level lessons as well. The Level 4 grammar and geography cards also cover grammar rules.

Can my child work independently in Level 3?

Level 3 is meant to be completed one-on-one with a parent, as this course focuses heavily on phonics and reading. It is not required that your child complete one lesson per day, but rather, he or she will work for a certain amount of time. It is possible that only a portion of a lesson with be covered, or several lessons may be completed each day. Instructions are included in the course book.

In what lesson will my child read A Penny's Worth of Character needed?

Lesson 27

Are the readers required to complete the course?

No, the readers are full of beautiful stories to help your child practice reading, but they are optional. If your child has a higher reading level, you can supplement with good books on your child’s reading level.

Level 4

Which pastels do I need?

You will need chalk pastels. Suggestions from Amazon.com: NuPastel 36 (high-quality recommendation) or B441R078-7003A (less expensive recommendation)

What does the parent need to do in Level 4?

1) Listen to the child read the challenging words and text at the beginning of most lessons and help
sound out words the child cannot read. Rather than telling the word, help the child sound out the word.

2) Check the child’s work using the answer key. No matter what level the child is on, parents should check the
child’s work on a daily basis, giving feedback. When needed, adjust the level of parental involvement. Parents
should also occasionally quiz the child on grammar and geography flashcards to assess progress.

Why doesn’t Level 4 have a reader?

For Level 4, five full-length books are contained right in the course book. For this reason, there is no separate reader for Level 4. The following books are included in the course: Down Tumbledown Mountain by Elizabeth Coatsworth, Carlotta by Ella Maie Seyfert, The Belgian Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins, Exploring the Jungle by JoBesse Waldeck, and The Pewter Plate by Florence Parker Simister. You will also need to purchase the books Twenty and Ten and The Big Wave , which are incorporated into the lessons.

Where are the spelling lists?

Daily spelling drills are included in every lesson and help the child practice specific targeted words (rule breakers and commonly misspelled words). A list of these words can be found on page 7 of the course book. The course book also helps children practice basic spelling rules and advanced spelling patterns.

Do I need the Creative Companion ?

Yes, the Creative Companion is required.The child will complete the lesson in the coursebook and then turn to the Creative Companion to complete the rest of the lesson. The Creative Companion contains a large amount of beautiful artwork. It also contains geography, writing, and art assignments.

Why is Level 4 so different?

We like to vary the components of different levels to change things up for children to prevent boredom and to make it more engaging. The format works very well for this particular course and has allowed us to incorporate five full-length books into the course books!

Why is the Level 4 Course Book in black and white?

Although the course book is black-and-white, the Creative Companion includes so much color that this level actually has more total color than any other course level.

Level 5

What watercolors do I need?

You will need dry-cake watercolors, not tubes. Suggestions: Hobbylobby.com sells water colors sets (search for 1458488 ), Amazon.com (search for B018ZY494A)

What is the shared reader and how do we use it?

Each day, the child reads one section in the shared reader WITH a parent or teacher, switching off each paragraph. This 6″ x 9″, 336-page reader is integrated with the course and is a necessary part of the course. The shared reader is broken down into lesson numbers that correspond to the lesson numbers in the course book. Each lesson requires an average of 2.75 pages to be read. The shared reader helps the child increase his or her reading level, learn difficult vocabulary, and become comfortable with reading more
complex and challenging literature without being overwhelmed.

Is the reader required to complete the course?

The shared reader is integrated in the course and required; however, the personal reader is optional and can be replaced with good books on your child’s reading level.

Level 6

When should my child start reading Little Lord Fauntleroy ?

Your child will begin reading this book in Lesson 33.

Why is there no daily checklist for Level 6?

Each level is slightly different from the other levels in order to provide variety and to prevent boredom. In Level 6 there are less items for the student to do on a daily basis; however, a checklist is provided on the first page in your Level 6 Course Book.

Level 7

My child completed Level 7, is he or she really ready for High School Language Arts levels?

Yes, your child is now ready for our High School Language Arts levels. However, you may want your child to complete our Level 8 Book Studies before starting high school courses for some of the following reasons:

1. He or she finished Level 7 in the middle of a year and wants something to work on before starting high school in the upcoming school year.
2. He or she is not interested in eventually completing high school courses earlier than 12th grade.
3. He or she is not quite ready for more intense reading or needs more review of principles before moving on to high school courses.
4. He or she is not old enough for books with more mature (but still appropriate) topics and some wholesome romance.

The Level 8 Book Studies are optional; students do not need to complete any Book Study between Level 7 and high school. They do not teach any new grammar, punctuation, or usage principles. Rather, the Book Studies review principles learned through Level 7. However, the Book Studies include new literature, spelling words,
memorization, geography, art, handwriting, and writing assignments.

Can I count Level 7 as high school credit?

The instruction in Level 7 is comparable to 9th grade work.

What do I do if my child has finished the Geography & Grammar cards?

Your child should review the completed cards once or twice a week to retain the information.

Level 8 Book Studies

Why were the Level 8 Book Studies created?

The Good and the Beautiful curriculum has no Level 8 Language Arts course. The language arts courses go from Level 7 to the high school courses. The Book Studies are designed for students who have completed The Good and the Beautiful Level 7 Language Arts course but do not want to start high school courses yet.

How are the Book Studies completed?

In these student-directed studies, the student simply reads and follows the instructions in each lesson. The parent or teacher checks the student’s work (daily or weekly) using the answer key.

How many Book Studies should be completed and in what order?

Each of the Book Studies has a different number of lessons, depending on the length of the book. Each lesson takes an average of 25–35 minutes to complete. It is recommended that a student doing Book Studies for their sole language arts instruction do 1–2 lessons per day.

The Book Studies do not go in any order. Students are encouraged to choose the Book Study they would like to complete, but they are also encouraged to choose a variety of genres, including biography.

There is not a set number of Book Studies that should be completed. These studies are a way to keep students reading good literature, learning new vocabulary, writing, and reviewing principles learned in previous levels until they are ready to move to the high school courses. We will be releasing one Book Study every 4–6 months.

What is needed to complete a Book Study?

To complete a Book Study, you will need the following items:

1. The Book Study Booklet
2. The associated reading book
3. The Good and the Beautiful Grammar and Writing Guide (This non-consumable guide is also used for the high school courses.)
4. A blank (unlined) notebook for writing and drawing
5. Art supplies specific to each Book Study